BREAKING: BOMBING At Football Stadium Leaves 29 DEAD And 166 Wounded… Here’s What We Know

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Police arrive at site of a suspected car bomb attack in Istanbul, Turkey, Saturday. (Reuters)

Police arrive at site of a suspected car bomb attack in Istanbul, Turkey, Saturday. (Reuters)

A car bomb followed by a suicide bombing left 29 people dead and 166 wounded Saturday night outside a football stadium in central Istanbul.

Authorities said that a car bomb detonated by remote control was followed 45 seconds later by a suicide bomber. All but two of those killed were police officers, authorities said.

“A terrorist attack has been carried out against our security forces and our citizens. It has been understood that the explosions after the Besiktas-Bursaspor football game aimed to maximise casualties. As a result of these attacks unfortunately we have martyrs and wounded,” Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement.

The blast and another one were heard hours after the end of a match between two of Turkey’s top teams, Reuters reported, quoting Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu.

Two witnesses told Reuters they had heard two blasts outside the Vodafone Arena, which lies on the edge of the Bosphorus in central Istanbul and is home to the Besiktas soccer team. A Reuters photographer said many riot police officers were seriously wounded.

“It was like hell. The flames went all the way up to the sky. I was drinking tea at the cafe next to the mosque,” said Omer Yilmaz, who works as a cleaner at the nearby Dolmabahce mosque.

“People ducked under the tables, women began crying. Soccer fans drinking tea at the cafe sought shelter, it was horrible,” he told Reuters.

Armed police sealed off streets around the stadium. A police water cannon doused the wreckage of a burned out car and there were two separate fires on the road outside the building.

“It is thought to be a car bomb at a point where our special forces police were located, right after the match at the exit where Bursaspor fans exited, after the fans had left,” the Associated Press quoted Soylu as informing Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency. “We have no information on the number of dead. God willing we hope there won’t be any. The wounded are police.”

Turkish Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan called the attack an act of terrorism on Twitter, Reuters reported.

Armed police sealed off streets around the Vodafone Arena, home to the Besiktas soccer team.

“At least 20 people wounded by an explosion outside a football stadium in – Turkish interior minister says”

Besiktas beat visitor Bursaspor 2-1 in the Turkish Super League, FOX reported.

Bursaspor said none of the wounded were fans and issued a statement saying “we wish a speedy recovery to our wounded citizens.”

Witnesses said police were deployed and had cordoned off the area as smoke rose from the newly built stadium.

They said gunfire could be heard in what appeared to have been an armed attack on police.

Images broadcast on television showed more than a dozen ambulances on a street hugging the stadium and a police helicopter flying overhead with its search lights on.



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